Jan 08

The Placebo Effect

“The Powerful Placebo” by Henry K. Beecher, 1955 sounds like a book I should read.  In looking for research and information about the placebo effect,  this book was mentioned for advancing the importance of perception and the brain’s role in physical health.   The information contained in this blog is specifically about the mind-body connection.  The Placebo Effect is at the top of my list for things to research.  Deliberate creating  involves believing in something and then setting forth to accomplish it.  Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t.  Placebo is just another name for a Belief.  The Placebo Effect demonstrates the  mind-body connection.

The word ‘placebo’  is Latin for “I will please”.  It dates back to a Latin translation of the Bible by Jerome and was first used in a medicinal context in the 18th century.  In 1785 it was defined as a “commonplace method or medicine” and in 1811 it was defined as “any medicine adapted more to please than to benefit the patient”, sometimes with a derogatory implication, but not with the implication of no effect.

Placebos were widespread in medicine until the 20th Century and they sometimes were endorsed as necessary deceptions.  Placebo is the use of an ineffectual treatment for a disease intended to deceive the recipient.  It is used as a control in medical research and medicine.  It is a pervasive phenomenon of an inert substance’s result on a patient’s medical improvement.  In fact, it is part of the response to any active medical intervention.  The recipient believes he is getting medication for his condition, one is real and one is a placebo.  The effectiveness of a  drug is  tested with a placebo.

The placebo effect or similarly expressed Belief, Perception and Expectation that the patient has if a substance is viewed as helpful, that it can heal.  And the nocebo effect that if it is viewed as harmful, it can cause negative effects.    The basic mechanisms of placebo effects have been investigated since 1978, when it was found that the opiate antagonist naloxone could block placebo painkillers, suggesting that endogenous opiods are involved. In 2011 a program in Placebo Studies was established at the Harvard Medical School.

Some funny thoughts:   with the dilemma of the high cost of health care, a comedy skit along the lines of a Monty Python sense of humor,  telling the patient don’t worry  drink a cup of green tea 8 times daily.  Everything is great, tell your cells 3 times daily how much you love and appreciate them.  Sit in a comfort chair and imagine yourself happy, healthy and doing your favorite activities.  You get the picture.  I love that.  Don’t worry, just be happy.





Permanent link to this article: http://www.mental-physics.com/2012/01/08/the-placebo-effect/

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